Feast of St. Benedict

Well- the Benedictines have much to cheer about this year. The Holy Father has clearly showed his favor in the choice of a name, a Benedictine was ordained in the Basilica of Norcia for the first time in 200 years (read the story in Zenit's July 7 dispatch), and the Pope has celebrated the holy monk's role in Europe with his recently released book on the subject.

In his own words (courtesy Zenit):

Amid the ashes of the Roman Empire, Benedict, seeking first of all the kingdom of God, sowed, perhaps even without realizing it, the seed of a new civilization which would develop, integrating Christian values with classical heritage, on one hand, and the Germanic and Slav cultures on the other.

There is a particular aspect of his spirituality, which today I would particularly like to underline. Benedict did not found a monastic institution oriented primarily to the evangelization of barbarian peoples, as other great missionary monks of the time, but indicated to his followers that the fundamental, and even more, the sole objective of existence is the search for God: "Quaerere Deum."

He knew, however, that when the believer enters into a profound relationship with God he cannot be content with living in a mediocre way, with a minimalist ethic and superficial religiosity. In this light, one understands better the expression that Benedict took from St. Cyprian and that is summarized in his Rule (IV, 21) -- the monks' program of life: "Nihil amori Christi praeponere." "Prefer nothing to the love of Christ."
Words to live by~

To celebrate, check out some of the ideas listed at Catholic Culture.

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